The Friends was incorporated in 1974 as a non-profit organization seeking to create support for the then-emerging county library system. The founders were six writers, grounded in the philosophy of community involvement, who wanted to focus their attention on the growing library system’s future. Among them were Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Helen Muir, Douglas Fairbairn, Mae Knight Clark, Pamela Johnson and Nixon Smiley. Today, the Friends continue to play an important role dedicated to the enhancement of the Library’s services and programs.
The Friends is a 100% volunteer organization with one paid employee. There is a Board of Trustees
to oversee the Friends’ operations, and the Friends continue to advocate on the Library’s behalf at
the local, state and federal levels. Friends funding supports activities ranging from A to Z: from Homework Help Centers to live cultural performances; from technology classes to art exhibitions; from job search workshops to materials for the sight impaired. Funds to support programming and other initiatives are raised through membership, corporate and private donations, grants and an Annual Book Sale.